“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”
— John F. Kennedy
Memorial Day, an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May, honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.
Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and was officially proclaimed a holiday in 1868 by General John A. Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic to honor the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. (Memorial Day became an official federal holiday in 1971.)
In his proclamation to set aside this day, General Logan instructed there to be thoughts to “…cherish tenderly the memories of our heroic dead who made their breast a barricade between our country and its foes”.
In addition to being recognized as the founder of Memorial Day, General Logan served in the Mexican-American War and in the Union Army in the American Civil War. He served the state of Illinois as a state senator, congressman and U.S. senator and was an unsuccessful candidate for Vice President of the United States.
Black Jack: General John A. Logan, by James Pickett Jones
For Children: Memorial Day (National Holidays), by Helen Frost
Decoration Day by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow